I know some of you have been worried that my posts have been far and few these past few weeks. Many thanks to the peeps who emailed or phoned, making sure I'm okay. You're all so wonderful!
I'm doing okay, just suffering a bit from malaise. I can't explain my exact feelings; it's just sort of bleagh because of the ill health and loss of furbabies. It takes more adjustment than you'd think because my babies aren't human, so their not being here shouldn't affect me like it should.
But they did. It's not just missing them, because I understand that part, having sent my mutant poms to the Rainbow Ridge before.
I guess it's because I spent two years taking care of them in every way possible. So, when I jumped out of bed at 5am so they get their medication, even though I'm not a 5am gal, and realized there is no reason to do that any more, my heart twists a little. Or, when I look at the clock at various times of the day so I could rush home in between jobs to give them their heart meds, and realize I don't have any reason to rush home, there is an empty feeling. Or, even shopping for food--I go twice a week, and on what I called Meat Day at the end of the week, when the supermarket has meat on sale because I cook special recipes for my kidney dogs--and realized I don't have to this week because my freezer still have two weeks' worth of meat...I don't know...it's as if I realized I've spent two years working my schedule around the two Old Ladies and didn't know it.
So, I'm trying to be normal but it's tough. I wrote on Facebook how sad it was when I turned off the central heating in the back porch for the first time in 14 years. I built that room for the mutant poms and now they aren't there any more.
Not that I don't have Lilah and Jiggle Low, but they sleep under my bed, so that's an entirely different future set of grieving moments, I'm sure ;-P. The Mutant Poms loved that porch. They have a huge Mamasan chair that they lay on and they used to jump off and careened towards the doggie door to go outside when they see a squirrel on the tree through the big porch windows. That room is dark at night now and I can't stand it.
Anyway, I didn't want to spend blog entry after blog entry telling you about my grieving process. How embarrassingly boring! I just want to assure y'all that I'm fine, though, just a bit quiet for the moment. I'm mostly worried because my writing mojo had disappeared since my illness and I. NEED. TO. WRITE. Where be the Muse?
Segue to Related Stuff
It's just not me. Bad Puppy Jiggle Low is out of sorts too. Before, he had a harem of ladies, you see, and when Lilah went into heat and he felt the male pain of being rejected, he would just wander off to the two Old Ladies and get some attention. They let him go after them since they were fixed and they enjoyed his silliness.
Now, imagine a dog without his harem except for the One who Rejects him. He's never bothered me with his lustful little ways before but now? He whines. He wakes me up at night because he has blue balls. Oh yeah, you may laugh but have you ever heard a dog crying about that and licking your face pitifully as if you had the solution. "Oh no, my pretty darling," said I, half-asleep at 3am, "get thee off my bed and go chase Lilah. Go on, be a man."
And it's not a soft whine. It's this long, piteous back-of-the-throat, "I'm so in need" kind of whine. Pause. Repeat. I swear he even hiccupped a few minutes. My boy wants to get laid bad.
Lilah, meanwhile, stubbornly says no. Hey, I'm a 21st century romance writer. No bodice-ripping allowed ;-).
So today, the Bad Puppy has seduction on his mind. Not only is he whining and begging, he's actually bringing her treats. How like a man to try presents. I'm mightily amused by this new tactic.
Yet another segue to a related topic
On another very popular blog, the post of the day is about electronic books replacing printed (or dead tree, as some are calling them) books as library. The post disagrees with a news article bemoaning the death of tradition, of perusing someone's library to get an idea what the person is like and argues that a virtual library is just the same. Readers just need to adjust, that's all, the writer posits, and besides, the missing physical library doesn't really show the real self because mostly, some people buy books either during different reading phases or if they wanted to show off their literary snobbery. Also, there are just so much one could find out about a person in different ways: go to their virtual library (like Goodreads), or Facebook and ck out their friends, or read their blogs or interact with their buddies on Twitter.
Which had me thinking (ouch!) and my train of thought wasn't really connected to this particular post and that's why I didn't post over there.
I think, the intimacy of our knowledge of people around us via the virtual world is not quite the same as the tactile thing. For example, if I'm friends with a person but never went to his home but have seen pics of it on his blog, visitied his Facebook, checked out his list of favorite movies, even googled a bit about him to see his other opinions on other people's territory, do I really know him? Yeah, sure, a part of him is there, but we all know the face we put out there for the public isn't quite the same as the personal face we show our intimate friends, right? Or has society evolved so much that the public and personal personas have merged?
I'm not talking about teens. Teens love to share, I get that, and yeah, what they show on their social media is what they probably are, unfiltered. I'm hopeful that they'd grow up to be discerning individuals, ones who know that sharing everything online isn't appropriate sometimes.
I'm talking about people like us, who straddle the two worlds of pre- and post- Internet Information. To be honest, I don't really have a Goodreads library because I'm not very good at keeping up and organizing stuff. My physical library is a lazy person's way of showing what I've read and want to read, and my love for the physical book is its ability to catch my eye while in a pile. A book in e-format would never catch my eye the same way because once it's in there, it's in there, which in a way, might save me money because like my taped VHS (yes, VHS!) shows, they'll forever sit in some space, forgotten till some fine day when I happen to peruse the list and find it (AND STILL NOT READ IT). That's why I stopped taping shows after a while, and probably that's why I never buy ebooks that I won't read immediately. Because they're out of sight.
So, I'm all for having electronic shelves to save space, but I'm not convinced that it's good for the human interaction part of human evolution. I see people so absorbed on their I-Phone, I-Whatever, twittering away at movies (WHILE THE SHOW IS ON), ignoring their dates/friends, or playing computer games/watching Youtube (yes, I'm guilty of this too) and wasting hours away. They even have virtual pets, for gad's sakes, ones that die if you don't feed them. If there is ever a case of six degrees of separation....
One of my girlfriends was just complaining to me, sadly, that her teenage son and daughter, just turned 18, who were very, very close to her, TEXTED her a "happy birthday, mom" instead of calling her. Or buying her presents. This is from a family in which every birthday had always been celebrated with much pomp and affair. She wasn't happy and even though she mentioned this to the two kids, they told her that it's what everyone does and didn't mean to hurt her feelings. MY feelings were hurt on my friend's behalf! But kids are blind, I get that, and self-absorbed.
But tell me, how many of you have just sent off electronic cards to your friends the past few years, mass emailing e-cards on Christmas? And if you think that's just the way things are, here's another question, DO YOU ACTUALLY CLICK ON EVERY OF THESE CARD LINKS? Or do you just acknowledge the sender and click delete?
I very, very seldom send e-cards because I know I don't open them. I know the other person would much prefer either a phone call or even a personal email. I guess I'm missing the pretty Christmas cards that I used to get to decorate my small Christmas corner. This past year, I received maybe five cards, two of which are from my vet and dentist. I used to get at least two dozen. I'm not complaining, just noting how social media has changed human interaction. The virtual card is useless to me, but yes, yes, it's good not to waste paper, etc. etc. Likewise, my virtual pet (which is very sexy) is useless to my Bad Puppy because he can't smell her or get to know her like a real dog.
I guess I just want to get to know a human like a real human. Which doesn't mean I want to sniff his/her butt. Reading that person's online webpage, his Shelfari, his opinions, and looking at his pics is personal, but yet, still very detached. It's like me investigating the person, instead of going, "Hey, neat stuff. What the hell is it?" and joke from there.
And no, I'm not ignoring the irony that I'm blogging this ;-) and of course, you only know the Virtual Me. Most of you, anyway. Those of you who have followed this blog for a while certainly know quite a bit about me (the sweetness, the ethereal gentleness, the ability to just bring a smile with my brilliant wit...no?!!!!). I'm, as always, humbled and astounded that you guys like me enough to stay around or maybe it's just the Sexy Veges Pics?
My point? Umm. Social media/virtual shelves is not the same as the Real Thing. And to tie it back to the ebook topic, I say, just come to a Big Signing, with hundreds of authors sitting behind their books. Now compare it to a Virtual Signing, when an author is in a remote place somewhere, signing an electronic signature, which you print out for your book or esave as part of your ebook file. Same interaction, but not personal. At all.
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